Feature: 12 Top iPod Speaker Stands

Feature: 12 Top iPod Speaker Stands

HOME ENTERTAINMENT

 

While we'd stop short of recommending that you replace your "real" speakers with these iPod systems, this trio of sound boxes nicely complements your existing home-theater setup. Like you, we're looking forward to the day when everything in our home-entertainment system is seamlessly integrated. For now, these speakers can fill your living room or family room with your iPod tunes.

 


A good size for smaller living rooms.

 

M602

Just because you barely have room in your living room for a couch, a table or two, and your TV doesn’t mean you have to settle for a subpar iPod speaker stand. We're sure you can find room for Altec Lansing's 14-by-8.2-by-5.4-inch M602. And if you can't find shelf space, you can always hang it with the free (but available separately) wall-mounting kit. Just be sure to find a spot near your TV so you can use the device's video-out jack, or near your Mac so you can connect the M602 and sync your iPod with iTunes.

 

The M602 uses LED lights to indicate the volume, treble, and bass levels as you adjust them, either with the remote or via the controls on top of the unit. It's a good thing these controls are easy to access, because we found ourselves adjusting them frequently. Sometimes the high treble wasn't strong enough, and the bass was inconsistent. And you don't want to turn the M602 up too loud - that sends you into a world of distortion.

 

One last quibble: The M602 doesn't include iPod dock adapters. The dock conforms to the iPod Universal Dock specification, and you can dock your iPod sans adapter, but then your iPod leans against the M602's grill. You may want to invest $9 in a three-pack of adapters for your particular iPod from the online Apple Store (www.apple.com).

 

M602

Altec Lansing

www.alteclansing.com

$199.95

 

 

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No frills, just great sound quality.

 

iGroove HG

Choose the Klipsch iGroove HG if you want superior sound quality - because that's pretty much all you get. (Not that we’re knocking it.)

 

The iGroove HG's sweet sound comes from its pair of 1-inch tweeters and dual 2.5-inch woofers. They create a balanced sound with clarity that isn't too bass heavy. The device doesn't have any controls to tweak the audio - you can control volume but that's it. The included remote has about a 20-foot range, good for most rooms, but you have to rely mostly on the iPod for control.

 

Your iPod charges while it's docked, but the iGroove HG doesn't have a video-out jack, USB or FireWire connectivity, or any other frills for that matter. Some may want more for $200, but for others, a device whose strength is its audio quality is worth that much.

 

iGroove HG

Klipsch

www.klipsch.com

$199.99

 

 

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Turns your iPod into a true entertainment center.

 

Model L The Geneva Labs Model L is a beast of an iPod speaker, but it’s also a CD player and FM radio. The 17.6-by-14.2-by-11.5-inch, nearly 40-pound box houses a pair of 1-inch tweeters and two 5.25-inch woofers. Whether you mount it on the optional aluminum stand ($119) or set it on the floor, it'll start conversations (or silence them) with its good looks and truly stunning sound quality.

 

Of all the speakers we tested, the Model L was the loudest, and it suffered no distortion. It can turn your family room into a veritable music venue. The Model L also offered the best stereo separation, which is difficult for all-in-one enclosures to do. The bass and treble controls give you an amazingly wide range, so you can always get the right mix. The Model L lacks a subwoofer, which could make the sound that much more complete—but that's a nitpick because the sound is quite satisfying.

 

An LED display shows volume, treble, and bass levels, as well as the audio source. The remote is on the hefty side, and it requires a line of sight to work well. There’s an RCA line-in jack for connecting additional audio sources, and the CD player can play back discs with MP3s.

 

At $600 - three times what other speakers cost - the Model L is a sizeable investment. But it seems fitting, since the Model L stands in a class all its own.

 

Model L

Geneva Labs

www.genevalab.com

$599

 

 

BONUS: More Home Entertainment Speakers

Apple's iPod Hi-Fi surprisingly lacks video and Mac connections, and its audio quality is best with popular music. Logitech's AudioStation has a 3D stereo feature that widens the sound field for better stereo separation. Bose's SoundDock was one of the first to popularize the speaker-grill-behind-the-iPod design, and few have come close to its sound quality.

 

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